Essex

New Jersey Restaurants Where Kids Eat Free

Who says there’s no such thing as a free meal? Restaurants throughout New Jersey offer free kid meal promotions nearly every night of the week. (Basically, you never have to cook again.) Visit your favorite family-friendly restaurant on a kids-eat-free night, and you won’t have to worry about overspending on kids’ entrees, especially the ones that are barely touched. Check out some of these New Jersey dining spots that feature free kid meals on certain nights of the week. 

Best STEM Classes for New Jersey Kids

Is your child interested in exploring the "hows," "whys," and "what-ifs" of the world around them? STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) enrichment classes can be a wonderful way to foster their curiosity and help them think critically and creatively. We've rounded up 11 NJ enrichment programs that offer instruction in coding, robotics, architecture, engineering, chess, and more. 

The Best NJ Zoos and Aquariums for Animal Encounters with Kids

Treat your kids to a real animal adventure at one of New Jersey's amazing zoos, aquariums, and animal preserves. At these day trip–worthy spots, little animal lovers can meet their favorite furry friend, check out exotic wildlife from other continents, or swim with the sharks (yes, really!). We've rounded up the best places in the Garden State for New Jersey kids to have an up-close-and-personal encounter with animals of every kind. 

Beat the Heat at the Watsessing Park Splash Playground in East Orange, NJ

After months of construction, the highly anticipated Watsessing Park Spray Park opened on July 20. Located on Glenwood Avenue near Dodd Street in East Orange, the 3,000-square-foot addition to the 69-acre park provides deep sea–themed water adventures to keep your kids cool this summer.

While New Jersey residents are no stranger to the cheap thrills provided by local spraygrounds, those living in Essex County have been forced to drive to neighboring communities for free water fun. But thanks to this new spray park, now you can cool off not too far from your own backyard.

Making its debut right in the middle of a string of 90-plus-degree days, I couldn't think of a better place to take my 4-year-old daughter to beat the heat. With her swimsuit on and beach towels in tow, we were excited to check out this cool new spot.

20 Super-Fun Summer Day Trips for New Jersey Families

We've got 20 ideas for NJ summer day trips your family can take without leaving the state—and many are low cost. Whether it's gathering fresh fruit at a pick-your-own farm, swimming at the lake, hitting the Jersey shore's beaches and boardwalk, or visiting an amusement park, grab the camera and hit the road!

Need more inspiration? Check out our NJ Family Day Trip and Getaway Guide for even more ideas.

If it's too hot or rainy to head outside, look to our indoor guide and rainy day suggestions to keep the good times rolling. 

Best July Fairs and Festivals for New Jersey Families

Fairs and festivals and feasts, oh my! It’s non-stop action in NJ this month—read on for our recommendations and choose your favorites. With everything from state and county fairs to music and food festivals—and of course, awesome July 4th celebrations—there’s something happening almost every day in July. Mark your calendar now, and have a blast all month long.

Berry lovers: be sure to check out our roundup of NJ's awesome blueberry festivals, many of which take place in July. And for more warm-weather action, visit our Summer Fun Guide.

Father's Day in New Jersey: 12 Fun Ways to Celebrate Dad with Kids

Father's Day can be more than golfing and barbecues this year, with such a great variety of family-friendly activities happening across the state. Whether Dad prefers baseball or fishing, airplanes or the arts, our list of Father's Day happenings has something for everyone. Read on for our top dozen picks for celebrating Dad this June. 

For more ways to have fun with fathers throughout the month, check out our playground guide, roundup of family festivals, and Event Calendar. And if Dad really has his heart set on golfing, there's always (mini) golf! 

15 Awesome Water Parks for New Jersey Kids and Families

New Jersey has several fantastic water parks, some of them right on the beach! From big-name parks and boardwalk favorites to the state's first municipal water park, we've rounded up 15 of New Jersey’s best water parks and an overview of what to expect from each one. We've even included a couple of fantastic indoor water parks to keep kids splashing on rainy days.

If you're looking for water fun on a slightly cheaper scale, check out our Best Water Playgrounds and Splash Pads roundup. For more summer awesomeness, visit our New Jersey Kids Summer Activities Guide.

20 Best Things To Do with Tweens in New Jersey

Your tweens may be too big for bouncy houses and tea parties, yet too young for solo outings with friends. But they still love family fun (even if they won't always admit it). To keep those in-betweeners happy and engaged, find an activity that sparks their curiosity or stretches their growing limbs. When a trip to your local playground is met with eye-rolling instead of cheering, it's time to check out these amazing activities for older kids in New Jersey. The good news? You may genuinely enjoy competing with your tween in bowling and mini golf, tackling the fast slides at a water park, or seeing a play or concert. Read on for 20 ideas that are cool enough for big kids. 

Kids' Classes and Fun Family Activities at NJ Community Colleges

Your child might not be old enough to head off to college, but there are plenty of offerings for kids at New Jersey's many community colleges. There are about 20 community colleges throughout the state, and they offer everything from music programs to STEM classes. We've put together a list of some of the best classes and enrichment activities for tots to teens. Some summer camps are noted, but for a longer list of options, be sure to check out our Summer Camp Guide.

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